Most babies get diaper rash at least once and most will have it several times in their first year. There are several causes of diaper rash, the most common of which is wet diapers left against the skin for too long or sensitivity to chafing from bad diapers. Sometimes, diaper rash is over-sensitivity to urine and other times it is actually a mild eczema rather than diaper rash.
The best way to treat diaper rash is to wash your baby in warm water (only), pat baby dry, and leave him or her undressed for a while. Fifteen minutes of air exposure can often do the job. A blow drier, especially in the winter when leaving baby naked for too long is not possible, can also help. Be sure it’s on the lowest setting. Now apply a lanolin ointment – as close to 100% as possible – and then dress baby.
Another good skin care remedy for bath time, to treat several problems, is to draw a warm bath and sprinkle a handful (about half a cup) of oatmeal into the water and stir it well. When the oatmeal softens, bathe baby in the slush, then rinse and pat dry, as above. If the rash has gone beyond the lightly red, irritated stage, see a pediatrician immediately.
The scientific name for this is Infantile Dermatitis Seborrheic and it’s a small, red patch that flakes off as a yellowish color. It is usually on the skin on top of babys’ head (hence the name “cradle cap”) and occurs most often in children under the age of three months. Generally, cradle cap is not a cause for serious concern. It comes from overproduction of oil in babys’ glands.
Cradle cap is easily removed and usually clears itself up within a week or two. Using a generous amount of olive, almond, or simple baby oil, rub it into the affected area and surrounds (head and scalp), keeping it out of baby’s eyes, ears, etc. Rub it in gently and thoroughly, then let it soak in for about fifteen or twenty minutes.
When the scales feel soft, use a fine comb to gently comb them away. A soft cloth might also work. Gently wash with a warm cloth when finished, pat dry, and put a knit cap on baby. Repeat this nightly until the condition no longer appears.
This condition is quite common amongst babies, especially those of toddler age and earlier. It usually clears itself up by the time baby is of toddler age. Atopic eczema, an itchy, red, scaly skin is most common in babies. This is usually due to poor moisturizing or exposure to harsh chemicals or temperature changes.
Bathe baby in lukewarm water, rather than very warm or cold water. Often, this eliminates the exposure issue. Moisturizing with a good skin moisturizer or treatment is recommended. Aloe and lanolin treatments are good for body and head, but be careful what is used on babys’ face and hands. Dress baby in organic clothing made of cotton or fleece to avoid problems with the chemicals in some non-organic clothing. Be sure to keep babys’ nails cut short to avoid damage from scratching. If the condition continues to worsen, see a doctor.
Hopefully, your baby has an easy first year, but these three common problems happen and, as you’ve seen, are easily treated if you know what you’re dealing with.
About Helen Russel
A Journalist and professional writer from New York City. She had been writing for local fashion and beauty magazines for years.More About Helen Russel.